Gateau Opera

by Eddy Van Damme on October 24, 2011

Few desserts possess an air of luxury as much as the gateau Opéra does.  A true classic which combines some of the most refined flavors we have on earth: coffee, chocolate and almonds. Our customers respond to it very well as these flavors are enjoyed by nearly everyone

Opéra is rather rich and a small piece is usually sufficient. On occasion, I have served Opera along chocolate sorbet to cut the richness somewhat, but in all honesty, Opera is pure perfection and just delicious by itself.

One of the great attributes of Opera is that it not only freezes very well, but it also is easily made into an entremet to be sold in a patisserie, cut for a plated dessert or served as a petit four.  On an entremet, oftentimes the word Opera is written but for smaller servings one can use his/her imagination.

For a plated version of the opéra I find nougatine a very effective decoration and a further enhancement to this delicious dessert.


The recipe for Opéra can be found in On Baking on page 661.

The recipe for the chocolate caramel sauce in On Baking on page 550


28 comments on “Gateau Opera

  1. Hilary Adams on said:

    Simply stunning!

  2. My absolute favorite :). I make it for my own birthday cake, since no one will go buy me one.

  3. Adriana diaz on said:

    I actually went into a patisserie in Paris and saw a lovely chocolaty creation with the word “opera” written on it and wondered what that was…now I know :). How nice!!

  4. Diana Wallace on said:

    This is such a luxurious dessert! Perfect for anytime of the year!!! Simply delicious!!!

  5. Ben Davenport on said:

    This is a great way to use the coffee extract described in the coffee extract artilce on this website.

  6. lisa ibanez on said:

    Hi chef
    You said this freezes very well but how long can we freeze it for and if er kept it out how long would it last in the refrigerator?

  7. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Lisa,
    The opera gateau will last for several weeks in the freezer. Refrigerated a few days.
    My best, Eddy

  8. Thanks Chef Eddy! This photo has a gentleman’s elegance and is a fantastic representation for this luxurious dessert. The steps to make up to the nougatine may seem a bit challenging, but the end result is well worth it both in taste and in pricing point. Anita

  9. Victoria Bishop on said:

    I have never heard of this dessert before, but it sounds absolutely delicious. I will be trying this recipe very soon. Thanks for this recipe and picture to show me what it looks like.

  10. Mayah Cash on said:

    Do you know if this recipe would work well with a flavored coffee like french vanilla/ mocha or will those flavors be over powered by the chocolate? Would this work better with a dark chocolate or a milk chocolate?

  11. Valérie on said:

    Je viens de découvrir ton site et j’y suis déja fan, c’est de l’art en puissance, félicitation (Valérie depuis Porto Rico)

  12. Eddy Van Damme on said:


  13. hai vonguyen on said:

    This recipe is great. It freezes well too. Thanks Chef!

  14. Vanessa Villarreal on said:

    A good way to practice our piping skills with the chocolate decorations also a good recipe to use the coffee extract from your blog.

  15. Yesenia Garcia on said:

    Wow!!! What a delicious dessert… and so elegant !!!

  16. Jennifer Contreras on said:

    WOW! As a chocolate lover I gotta say this picture just made me want to jump into the screen and take a bite out of it! What an elegant and delicious dessert. It has really made me want to go and flip the pages of my “On baking” book and search for this delicious recipe! Who would know that using nougatine as a decoration would be so elegant. GREAT!

  17. It is indeed a satisfying dessert on its own… and the nougatine’s crunch works really well with the flavors!

  18. John Foisy on said:

    This is the dessert to keep in mind for those truely special events , that don’t happen often . The layers are so distinctive and elegant.

  19. This is a classic, elegant cake it is lovely to see all those layers and flavors working together. The mirror finish is enchanting and I’m glad the recipe is on the On Baking book.

  20. A little more time consuming then others but well worth it.

  21. Jelani Byerly on said:

    I’ve never heard of this, and im upset, because it literally has three of my favorite ingredients in it. The way those three ingredients come together there is just comparison. I absolutely will try to make this recipe asap!

  22. Of all the petit fours we created this semester, this one stands out head and shoulders above the rest. The taste and texture were perfection. It is great to know that you can freeze them, and the addition of nougatine would be wonderful. Thank you for sharing this with us; I now have a new favorite.

  23. Joyce Baines on said:

    I must say that I and nota fan of sponge cake,but when we made this in class, I felt that this was one of themost appetizing desserts that we have done this summer.

  24. Roslen Hamilton on said:

    I made this and it was really good. I enjoyed all the different levels of flavor. I will be making this recipe again soon.

  25. Tu Ho on said:

    Opera is simply beautiful and tasty. It’s like another form of refined luxurious tiramisu. Nougatine is a very effective and adds texture to any dessert. Definitely will try to master it. Thank you chef for sharing the recipe.

  26. Savanna Cunningham on said:

    it was wonderful! you had said that you have made it with a chocolate sorbet, could a coffee flavor work with it as well:

  27. kimberly watson on said:

    Very tasty, to have chocolate and almonds together like almond joy candy bars without the coon . Will definitely make this again! a stroke of genius

  28. Peter Tham on said:

    Surprisingly, several Vietnamese run confectionery in Houston offers this cake, one most noted but unfortunately closed down now is “Le Bec Fin” (sp?), used to be located in the now Reef Restaurant.

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